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China Merchants to open branch in NY
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China Merchants Bank has become the first Chinese bank to receive a banking license in the United States since the adoption of the Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act of 1991 and will open a branch in New York this year, the lender said today.

Merchants Bank, the sixth-biggest bank in China, received the license by New York State Superintendent of Banking Richard H. Neiman on July 14 in New York, Shenzhen-based Merchants Bank said today.

Merchants Bank set up a representative office in New York in 2002 and applied to establish a branch last year. It received regulatory approval from the New York State Banking Department and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors late last year.

"The New York branch will facilitate trade and other business activities between the United States and China by providing trade services, financing, dollar clearing and other services to businesses from both countries," said Fang Hui, the New York branch president of Merchants Bank, according to a release dispatched by Business Wire.

Bank of China and Bank of Communications now have branches in the US, which were approved in the 1980s, before the Foreign Bank Supervision Enhancement Act of 1991 took effect.

The Beijing-based China Minsheng Banking Corp has bought a stake in UCBH to strengthen its footprint in the US.

Industrial & Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank have also applied to open branches in the US, but are still waiting for approval from regulators.

(Shanghai Daily July 15, 2008)

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